What has been Rafael Nadal’s injury history? The Spaniard has problems every year, mostly at the end of the season, although this does not prevent him from having a career full of success. In 2023, he announced a press conference where he confirmed that he would not be playing at Roland Garros and that 2024 would likely be his last season.
The left-hander is one of the players who will go down in the history of this sport. The Spaniard’s career is full of successes, but at the same time, there have been numerous injuries that have prevented him from achieving better records. In these years, Nadal has suffered from the most typical injuries in the tennis world and other more special ones.
Rafael Nadal’s injury history
- In 2004 came the first injury that prevented the Spaniard from participating in a Grand Slam tournament, at his beloved Roland Garros.
- His 2005 ended in resentment over a congenital problem with his foot, forcing Nadal’s team to look for models to allow him to continue playing tennis.
- In 2006, he withdrew from the Australian Open due to back pain. He was then forced to retire at Queen’s due to shoulder pain.
- In 2007, he suffered from cramps in his left arm and was unable to play in the Cincinnati Masters 1000.
- In 2009, a knee would force him to withdraw from Wimbledon, where he defended his title, and he would go far from 100% at the US Open, where he lost virtually unopposed in the semifinals.
- In 2010, Nadal’s problems lessened and he would have to withdraw from his match in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
- In 2012, the knee would once again be Rafa’s biggest problem. He already played quite a touch at Wimbledon and would not compete again until Viña del Mar 2013. He would miss the Olympics, where he intended to be the flag bearer.
- In 2014, a problem with his right wrist kept him out for three months. He also underwent surgery for appendicitis and was knocked out of the Masters Cup.
- In 2016, the wrist again caused him to withdraw from Roland Garros and would not be at Wimbledon either; reach the Games and the US Open far from 100%.
- In 2017, he appeared injured in the final of the Shanghai Masters and would have to retire later in the quarter-finals of Paris-Bercy and after his first ATP final.
- In 2018, injuries did not allow Nadal to play even ten events. A hamstring strain in his leg would sideline him in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and the semifinals of the US Open, ending his season early. I wouldn’t play in Shanghai, Paris, ATP finals or Davis Cup semi-finals with Spain.
- In 2019, Nadal was eliminated in the semifinals of Indian Wells and later in Miami due to lower body problems. He would later withdraw from the US Open with wrist discomfort, meaning the Laver Cup could not see another Nadal/Federer pairing. He would skip Shanghai for his wedding, and in Paris-Bercy he would withdraw before the semifinals with a ruptured abdomen, giving him the chance to reach the ATP finals and be Spain’s sixth Davis Cup hero.
- In 2020, he would only miss tournaments due to fear of traveling due to COVID, but without any additional physical issues.
- In 2021, his back would force him to play the Australian Open injured and miss the Miami Open (Indian Wells wasn’t played until October). He would pull out of Roland Garros with the same foot problems he had in 2005, and with the exception of two games in Washington, Manacorí’s 2021 season would end there, including missing Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, the ATP Finals and four. Masters 1000.
- In 2022, the first injury came in Indian Wells, with a crack in the third rib in the right area, which was very painful.
- At Wimbledon, he suffered a seven millimeter stomach injury that bothered him a lot and he had to retire.
- Trouble returned in early 2023 when he injured his hamstring in the second game of the Australian Open. Nadal fought against everything to get on the clay tour. In the end, he didn’t get it, and after announcing at a press conference, he confirmed that he will not be at Roland Garros in 2023 and that 2024 will likely be his last season as a professional.
The knee, the worst stop
Yes, there is an injury that has always haunted Nadal, it is tendinitis. From a very young age, she has suffered a lot of pain since 2005. Then in 2008 and 2009 the problems reappeared. There were a few years when everything seemed calmer, but in 2018 the pain returned from the same area. The worst came in 2012, when Rafa suffered a torn left patellar tendon after Wimbledon, which sidelined him for seven months, in 2012, when the London Olympics were held. The ankle has also caused problems for Nadal, especially with a stress fracture, tendinitis or other discomfort.